What is the purpose of the castle rock in the book Lord of the Flies?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The boys first venture to Castle Rock in Chapter Six of Lord of the Flies, and Jack cannot help but show his excitement over the potential of the location:

"What a place for a fort!" (106).

Ralph, however, is less than impressed and deems it a "rotten place" (106).  The two boys' completely different reactions tell much of their perspectives for what truly matters on the island.  Jack adores Castle Rock, because his focus is purely on enjoying himself, hunting, and other savage pursuits; Ralph, on the other hand, is disgusted by the place because it serves no purpose toward his higher goal of rescue. 

Later as the novel progresses, Jack claims Castle Rock as his own, making it the seat of his power and control.  The rocky, boulder strewn area allows him to defend his new powerful position as chief.  By the end of the novel, Castle Rock becomes synonymous with savagery.  Not only is it the location of Piggy's tragic and brutal death, the rocky fort represents the new home of all of the boys who have abandoned their connection to civilization and chosen instead to be painted savages.